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Rick Lee's selections and analysis

by Rick Lee | March 13, 2021 at 9:39 a.m.
FILE — Horses and jockeys break from the starting gate at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

LEE'S LOCK Concert Tour in the 11th

BEST BET Tax in the seventh

LONG SHOT Aloha West in the third


MEET 57-184 (31.0%)

* * * * confident choice

* * * plenty to like

* * things to like

* educated guess

1 Purse $93,000, 6 furlongs, fillies, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

* *H'RAYFORCABERNEIGH capped her debut preparations with a rapid gate workout, and she is a half-sister to multiple stake-winning sprinter Mr. Jagermeister. FOUETTE has not raced since September, but she was beaten only a neck in her debut at Saratoga. The Steve Asmussen trainee is treated with Lasix for the first time. MONTGOMERY PARK earned competitive Beyer figures in two races as a juvenile, and she is working well for her 2021 debut.


5 H'rayforcaberneigh;Bowen;Lund;6-1

2 Fouette;Santana;Asmussen;3-1

3 Montgomery Park;Geroux;Cox;4-1

7 Shoshoni Moon;Garcia;Lyster;5-1

9 Coppelia;Rocco;Bauer;9-2

8 As It Should Be;Morales;Chapman;15-1

1 My My Munny;Mojica;Catalano;8-1

10 Aka Lioness;Vazquez;Mason;20-1

6 Scat for the Cause;Eramia;Trout;8-1

4 Church Service;Harr;Cline;20-1

2 Purse $93,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden special weight

* *KABOOM BABY finished second while 5 lengths clear of third in an encouraging career debut, and she recorded a sharp subsequent work March 6. MY GRACE crossed the wire one position behind the top selection while showing good early speed and being caught wide. WICKED STREET is another who was a clear second in her first race, and she will get a favorable stalking trip if she draws into the race.


4 Kaboom Baby;Quinonez;Witt;5-2

1 My Grace;Santana;Moysey;7-2

13 Wicked Street;Talamo;Morse;5-2

10 Big On Broadway;Rosario;Moquett;8-1

7 Rose Marie B;Vazquez;Peitz;8-1

2 Life of Saturdays;Cabrera;Diodoro;9-2

3 Olivian;WDe La Cruz;Martin;5-1

9 Janet's Rocket;Mojica;Cates;15-1

6 Peanut;Eramia;Jackson;20-1

14 My Dams Atitude;Morales;Puhl;12-1

12 Run Fearless;Court;Fires;20-1

11 Emeralds R Us;Wales;Westermann;30-1

8 Toms Maximillian;Tohill;Smith;30-1

5 Calico Dreamer;Morales;Rhea;30-1

3 Purse $105,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, allowance

* *ALOHA WEST had to overcome a poor start in a deceptively strong career debut victory. He recorded a powerful 5-furlong work March 6, and his dam was a graded stake-winning sprinter. AMERICAN MANDATE has finished in-the-money in five consecutive races at this entry-level allowance condition, but he has not won a race since 2019. BREAKING NEWS finished his 2020 campaign with a second-place allowance finish at Churchill, and he shows good local works and a maiden win at Oaklawn.


5 Aloha West;Loveberry;Catalano;8-1

1 American Mandate;Santana;Asmussen;3-1

7 Breaking News;Rosario;Moquett;7-2

4 Chipofftheoldblock;Eramia;Lauer;9-2

8 Backshot;Cohen;Broberg;6-1

11 Kadri;FDe La Cruz;Jones;8-1

9 Make Noise;Geroux;Van Berg;20-1

6 Hurts So Good;Arrieta;Robertson;10-1

2 No Shirt No Shoes;WDe La Cruz;Anderson;10-1

10 Reef's Destiny;Harr;Cline;20-1

3 Sturgill;Morales;Haran;30-1

4 Purse $93,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

* *BATTLE HYMN has put four strong 5-furlong works together leading up to his debut, and his dam was a Grade I winner of better than $1.5 million. Furthermore, trainer Larry Jones saddled a debut winner (Windmill) earlier in the meeting. VIOLENT GIGI has a long series of fast works leading up to his career debut, and he scratched Feb. 27 in favor of this race. NAME REJECTED has been forwardly placed in consecutive second-place finishes, and he is too talented to be a maiden for much longer.


4 Battle Hymn;Talamo;Jones;5-1

1 Violent Gigi;Cohen;Hollendorfer;8-1

9 Name Rejected;Garcia;DiVito;3-1

5 Cronus;Cabrera;Barkley;20-1

8 Title Shot;Loveberry;Catalano;6-1

12 Air Show;Arrieta;Diodoro;8-1

2 Cryo;Geroux;Cox;9-2

3 Golden Flash;Santana;Asmussen;12-1

10 Master Kev;Bowen;Deville;4-1

13 Reserve;Rosario;Moquett;10-1

14 Kant Beat the Rock;Vazquez;Morey;8-1

11 Girl Watcher;Castellano;Maker;20-1

7 Tillis;Tohill;Von Hemel;20-1

6 Global Appeal;FDe La Cruz;Lukas;20-1

5 The Azeri. Grade II. Purse $350,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

* *LETRUSKA has won 12 of 15 races on dirt, and the speedy mare has won three consecutive Grade III races and is the one to catch. SHEDARESTHEDEVIL beat an all-star field when winning the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, and she did win the Honeybee last spring at Oaklawn. GETRIDOFWHATAILESU rallied from far back to defeat 10 rivals in the Pippin, and the steadily improving mare will benefit from an expected fast pace.


3 Letruska;Rosario;Gutierrez;3-1

5 Shedaresthedevil;Geroux;Cox;2-1

4 Getridofwhatailesu;Castellano;Cox;3-1

1 Envoutante;Hernandez;McPeek;5-2

2 Motion Emotion;Santana;Asmussen;6-1

6 Purse $105,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, allowance

* *IMPOSSIBLE TASK broke his maiden around two turns at Del Mar, and he has worked very well since an even effort in a needed sprint tune-up. ASHAAR attempts two turns for the first time after a front-running second-place finish at Gulfstream. He drew a favorable post position. TRIDENT HIT finished strong in a second-place route finish at Fair Grounds, and the experienced two-turn runner should get a favorable pace setup.


9 Impossible Task;Talamo;Sadler;10-1

1 Ashaar;Rosario;Pletcher;9-2

2 Trident Hit;Castellano;Moquett;6-1

10 Claytnthelionheart;Cabrera;Bauer;7-2

3 Excession;Santana;Asmussen;3-1

4 Aasr;Geroux;Maker;5-1

6 Believeinholidays;Torres;Villafranco;12-1

7 Totally Jimbo;Arrieto;Jones;12-1

5 Coach Bahe;Rocco;Bauer;12-1

8 Alex Joon;Eramia;Brennan;30-1

7 The Essex Handicap. Purse $500,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up

* * *TAX dominated Grade III rivals only two races back at Gulfstream, and the multiple graded stake winner is back on Lasix after a dull effort in a Grade I. SILVER STATE has won three consecutive races, including the Fifth Season here on opening weekend. He is better now than when competing in graded stakes last season. NIGHT OPS won the 2020 Essex Handicap over wet footing, and he likely needed his third-place finish in the Fifth Season.


4 Tax;Rosario;Gargan;3-1

5 Silver State;Santana;Asmussen;2-1

7 Night Ops;Castellano;Cox;3-1

2 Harpers First Ride;Cohen;Diodoro;4-1

3 Rated R Superstar;Vazquez;Villafranco;12-1

6 Green Light Go;Arrieta;Hollendorfer;6-1

1 Uphold;FDe La Cruz;Haran;20-1

8 Purse $106,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

* *SECRET COURIER is moving up an allowance condition after a clear victory, and he appears to be thriving since moving to the barn of trainer Robertino Diodoro. ANCIENT WARRIOR was a determined winner just two races back at Churchill, and an abundance of early speed should set up his late run. ONE FOR RICHIE has been impressive in two wins at the meeting, and he appears sharp enough to move up and win again.


7 Secret Courier;Cohen;Diodoro;7-2

10 Ancient Warrior;Rosario;Hollendorfer;5-1

1 One for Richie;Arrieta;Contreras;3-1

4 Soul Streit;Bridgmohan;Amoss;8-1

3 Royal Daaher;Castellano;DiVito;9-2

9 American Butterfly;Cabrera;Lukas;8-1

8 Marvin;Canchari;Robertson;12-1

11Full Authority;Rocco;Fires;15-1

2 Special Reserve;Geroux;Maker;12-1

5 Best of Greeley;Gonzalez;Ortiz;15-1

6 Fast Breakin Cash;Quinonez;Trout;15-1

9 The Temperence Hill. Purse $150,000, 1 1/2 miles, 4-year-olds and up

* *TENFOLD has won two of four races at Oaklawn, and he is battle-tested in graded stake races. He has proven marathon ability. LONE ROCK is a versatile runner riding a three-race winning streak, and he does have a long-winded pedigree. SPLIT THE WICKETS has recorded all four of his wins on turf, but his last effort on the main track was a good effort at Churchill. He has experience at extended route distances.


1 Tenfold;Santana;Asmussen;4-1

9 Lone Rock;Cohen;Diodoro;6-1

8 Split the Wickets;Talamo;Van Berg;8-1

3 Coal Truth;WDe La Cruz;Compton;20-1

10 Campaign;Arieta;Sadler;7-2

4 Plainsman;Castellano;Cox;9-2

2 You're to Blame;Rosario;Moquett;3-1

6 Treasure Trove;Geroux;Maker;12-1

7 Muralist;Rocco;Puhich;20-1

5 Carlos L.;Canchari;Robertson;15-1

10 The Hot Springs. Purse $200,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up

* *WHITMORE returns to his favorite track after winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He won this stake last season and always fires fresh. C Z ROCKET finished second at a shorter price than Whitmore in the BC Sprint, which snapped a five-race winning streak. FLAGSTAFF was narrowly defeated by the second selection in a pair of graded stake races in California, and he is wearing blinkers for the first time.


6 Whitmore;Santana;Moquett;8-5

7 C Z Rocket;Geroux;Miller;2-1

2 Flagstaff;Rosario;Sadler;9-2

3 Mr. Jagermeister;Bowen;Lund;10-1

1 Boldor;Cabrera;Asmussen;5-1

4 Engage;Talamo;Asmussen;8-1

5 Firecrow;Vazquez;Moquett;15-1

11 The Rebel. Grade II. Purse $1,000,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds

* * *CONCERT TOUR has worked big since winning the Grade II San Vicente at Santa Anita, and trainer Bob Baffert has won seven runnings of the Rebel. CADDO RIVER followed a 9-length maiden score at Churchill with a dominating 10-length win in the Smarty Jones. The highly promising colt may prove to be this good. KEEPMEINMIND finished second in a pair of Grade I races before winning the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill. The strong finishing colt is likely to benefit from a contentious pace.


7 Concert Tour;Rosario;Baffert;2-1

1 Caddo River;Geroux;Cox;9-5

6 Keepmeinmind;Cohen;Diodoro;4-1

4 Get Her Number;Castellano;Miller;8-1

8 Super Stock;Talamo;Asmussen;6-1

3 Hozier;Garcia;Baffert;12-1

2 Big Lake;Santana;Asmussen;12-1

5 Twilight Blue;Hernandez;Sharp;15-1

12 Purse $45,000, 1 Mile, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

* *HANDY finished second over a muddy track in a slightly troubled trip, and he drops 7 pounds with an apprentice rider in the irons. TRUCULENT lost a clear lead in a clear second-place finish at this condition. The front-runner may have needed the race after an eight-week freshening. ORO DE TEJANO had to overcome a slow start in a deceptively good sprint tune-up, and he has a consistently competitive record around two turns.


9 Handy;Morales;Vance;12-1

5 Truculent;Arrieta;7-2

8 Oro de Tejano;Cabrera;Ortiz;8-1

14 Gallant Plunger;Santana;Asmussen;9-2

13 General Trev;Rocco;Compton;6-1

7 Solomonic;Rosario;Maker;4-1

2 F F Rocket;WDe La Cruz;Martin;8-1

10 Off the Meds;Hamilton;Mason;12-1

11 Katzarelli;Bridgmohan;Amoss;5-1

4 Optimus Kat;Castellano;Lukas;6-1

1 Polar Wind;Rocco;Riecken;12-1

6 Niles Channel;Vazquez;Villafranco;8-1

12 Rob the Rich;Talamo;Matthews;20-1

3 Limbo's Promise;Canchari;Anderson;30-1

Exotic possibilities

In the second race I like the double playing my top three selections with Aloha West in the third race. I also like the idea of playing a trifecta in the fourth. I'll put Battle Hymn over my next six horses in the middle and my top four in the third spot.


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